NC State finished at No. 34 in the Director's Cup this year, which is the second-highest finish in school history. Imagine if we had all those ridiculous west coast sports like hiring Lane Kiffin to see what the hell happens just for the hell of it. Nevermind; a Debbie Yow-led department would be terrible at that sport.
There is no question that the NC State athletics department is trending upward. Yow's hires have for the most part been successes, and several of them have delivered ahead of schedule. The swimming and softball programs had breakthrough years, and it won't be long before the wrestling team is back in the mix for league titles.
As a bonus, Lee Fowler holdover Bryan Bunn delivered an NCAA volleyball tournament berth for the first time in forever and might be the best coach on campus, because seriously, the last two decades of the program's history are unfortunate, to be very very kind.
We still can't compete dollar-for-dollar with the country's upper echelon -- and we never will -- but there are always margins to exploit, and what's critical is the recognition of said margins. Yow's approach in that regard is undeniably perceptive, and if I've said it once I've said it a hundred times: it's all about process, not outcome. So far so good.